It has been some time since we first pointed out the maze of laws that govern to whom employers must grant leaves of absence, when, and whether an employee, if entitled to a leave, must also be paid. Even businesses in strong right-to-work states like Florida will deal with Federal laws that are not only numerous but also, adding more complexity, triggered at different points and according to a variety of factors.
Some of those laws are localized. The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) applies only in those locations where the employer has more than 49 employees within 75 miles. Others are not. Many touch every employer with over 15 or 25 employees, without qualification.
On the other hand, the National Labor Relations Act, which governs among other things employees’ freedom to speak among themselves, applies to every employer, no matter how small. So does the law protecting the rights of reservists and national guardsmen returning from deployment.
And the Fair Labor Standards Act, concerned with overtime, is triggered by the amounts of gross sales, not the number of employees. It comes with its specific set of paperwork requirement, and determining who is eligible for overtime requires negotiating a maze all its own.
The list goes on, and state laws add to the mix. Suffice to say, an attorney attentive to your business, and who takes the time to know the business and determine what recommendations to make, is not a luxury.